Dave Grohl’s memoir, The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music is published today, October 5, and among its many entertaining stories is an account of a memorable dinner the Foo Fighters’ frontman held for AC/DC and Paul McCartney in 2015, which ended with the superstar musicians and their partners dancing to a live jazz band.
This once-in-a-lifetime get-together was organised by Grohl’s wife Jordyn on the evening of February 8, 2015 following the 57th annual Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Grohl had agreed to introduce a live performance by Beck and Coldplay’s Chris Martin on the night, and AC/DC had been booked to perform two songs at the ceremony, Highway To Hell and the title track of their 2014 album, Rock Or Bust. As Grohl reveals in The Storyteller, he’d originally planned to host a small dinner for Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy Shevell at LA’s Faith and Flower restaurant after the ceremony, but after McCartney bumped into the members of AC/DC in a Los Angeles hotel pre-show, an invite was extended to Brian Johnson, Angus Young and co. too.
Unbeknown to his other guests, another set of musicians would bring added colour to the evening. Grohl had met the members of the New Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz Band while filming Sonic Highways, the HBO series which also inspired the writing and recording of the eighth Foo Fighters studio album, and when bandleader Ben Jaffe revealed that he and his bandmates happened to be in LA on the same night, a plan started to percolate.
“How about we all come marching down the street playing in a second line, into the restaurant, straight to the table, and perform a set for you right there?” Grohl recalls Jaffe asking him.
“I assured Ben that, come hell or high water, I would make this happen, and said that we should keep it a secret, so as to surprise all of our honoured guests with a night they would never forget,” Grohl writes.
“There was no way that I could possibly repay this roomful of icons for the years of inspiration that they had given me, but if I could make them smile, dance, and feel the joy of music, as they had done for me my entire life, I was making a small dent in my debt.”
And so it came to pass, after the guests were seated at Faith anD Flower…
“Within seconds the restaurant was flooded with the thunderous sound of brass as they wound through the tables of astonished patrons,” Grohl writes. “Once the initial shock subsided, the small floor became a dance floor, and everyone dropped their drinks to take their partners for a good swing around the room. In that moment, all of the rock and roll pretense and royalty disappeared, and there was only pure joy. At one point, as we danced along, [AC/DC vocalist] Brian Johnson turned to me, and with a giant smile he screamed, ‘I‘M ACTUALLY FUCKING HAPPY!’”
“My job here was done.”
For more rock ’n’ roll anecdotes from Grohl’s life lived loud, pick up The Storyteller.